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Buy to rehab this beautiful Victorian in Islandview for $85K

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This home from the early 1900s has tons of potential

There’s a large yard and sidewalk in front of a brick home with red trim and a turret. Photos by Jermaine Buie/Perfect Light LLC

Another unique rehab opportunity has just hit the market. This time it’s a stunning Victorian home in the Islandview neighborhood on Detroit’s east side.

The home itself, built in 1905 according to the realtor, is listed for $85,000. But it’s going to require a lot of work.

The exterior of the 3,854-square-foot home demonstrates all the potential, and challenges, of the restoration project. The Victorian has a lovely turret and decorative corbels. But it’s missing some windows and fascia. It also look as if the roof will need to be replaced and the porch ceiling is just plywood at the moment.

The situation gets a little rougher inside, where there’s peeling plaster everywhere, no risers on the main staircase, gaps in the walls and ceilings, and other issues. The floor will also need to be replaced, the fireplace restored, bathrooms and kitchens updated, etc. We’re obviously not sure about bigger structural issues or the state of the plumbing and electrical—but it’s safe to assume the new owner will need to update those as well.

That said, there’s gorgeous wood panelling, trim, pocket doors, and more throughout the house. You’d have to put in a lot of money, but the results could be spectacular.

A staircase with missing risers. Nearby there’s missing floor tiles and a closed wood pocket door.

What makes this renovation even more unique is that the Detroit Land Bank Authority is the current owner and is seeking development proposals for the R5-zoned property, meaning it was most recently rental apartments. The new owner will also be required to submit an itemized list of costs and sign a developer’s agreement.

Want to take on this restoration? 385 E. Grand Boulevard is listed with James Bufalino and Premier Property Services for $85,000. Best and final proposals should be submitted via email to by January 25 at 5 p.m.

A big cement porch outside a front entrance. The ceiling is just plywood.
A room with a window cove surrounded by wood paneling. There’s missing tiles and the ceiling is peeling.
A brick fireplace with missing tiles in a large empty room. The windows all have wood trim.
A room with an arched wood ceiling. The floor tiles are discolored and not set.
A room with peeling ceiling and two wood doors that are probably closets.
A dingy bathroom with discolored walls and bathtub. A section of the ceiling is missing.